VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcoses DON’T own GMA stocks


A Facebook video used an old report of a 2007 petition by Sen. Imee Marcos, which claimed the Marcos family owned a third of GMA Network, Inc.  

Uploaded on May 24, the video posted by the FB page Exile Philippines (created last May 7) bore the text: “Wooow may shares pala ang mga marcos sa GMA. 30 YEARS NA NKLIPAS ILAN KYA ANG TUBO NOON [sic] (Wow, the Marcoses have shares in GMA. It’s been 30 years, how much could it have earned).”

The claim is false. “Those Duavit shares were acquired by them (Duavits) as early as September 1974 or thirty-three years now. They have been in possession of those shares for that long period of time,” Gener Asuncion, then the legal counsel of the broadcast network, said in a 2008 GMA news report.

The same news report said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed no pending case impugning the ownership of the shares in question was filed in court by Marcos against the Duavits.

On July 27, 2007, Marcos filed a letter-complaint with the SEC to suspend the listing and initial public offer (IPO) of GMA Network Inc., scheduled three days later. 

She claimed that her father, the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. bought and owned the shares held by Gilberto Duavit Sr., his family, and Group Management Development Inc., a company owned by the Duavit Group. 

To prove that Duavit Sr. was merely holding GMA stocks in trust for the Marcoses (equivalent to 28.35 percent share of the network), the former senator attached a 1983 note from Duavit, a former assemblyman during the Marcos regime, that read: 

“Dear Imee – I hope the presentation is clear enough. The political aspects intentionally  excluded which I believe should be discussed with you personally — with some other  options in mind. Regards. Sincerely, Bibit.”

SEC continued with the listing and IPO of GMA’s shares, saying the letter-complaint from Marcos had no bearing on the event.

The incorrect FB video garnered 12,000 reactions, 2,600 comments, and 377,000 views. It appeared five days after GMA Network said on May 19 that it does not see any possible future entanglements with the administration of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., younger brother of the senator.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)